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Eight British Medals at EUROSAF Youth Championships

by Imogen Stanley 22 Aug 2016 16:36 BST 15-21 August 2016
The British Youth Sailing Team win the Nations Cup at the EUROSAF Youth European Championships © RYA

The British Youth Sailing Team won eight medals and were crowned Nations Cup winners for the first time at the 2016 EUROSAF Youth European Championships, Neusiedl am See, Austria which drew to a close on Sunday 21st August.

The EUROSAFs, which take place annually, see Europe's top Youth sailors come together to battle for European honours. The team were represented by two boats in each class, with sailors having been selected from the 2016 RYA Youth National Championships in April.

Light winds and shifty conditions challenged sailors throughout the week, but it was a different story on the final day. Sailors were greeted by light wind and rain, but after a short postponement launched in a building breeze reaching 25 knots.

420 pairing Hatty Morsley (Port Dinorwic) and Pippa Cropley (Lymington) led the 420 girls' fleet from the go without a race outside the top two to secure gold in emphatic style. After a first in the last race, Lymington 420 duo Ella Bennett and Emily Gent finished their week in sixth. In the 420 boys' fleet, James Clementson and Will Birch-Tomlinson (Hayling Island) also took the final bullet, to move up the rankings and take silver. In the tight fleet and shifty conditions, Tom Collyer and Aaron Chadwick (Aldenham) struggled to get going finishing in tenth.

Pippa Cropley commented on her event: "It was really good, some really tight fleet racing, great competition. We really enjoyed it and learnt a lot and to come to away with gold feels amazing."

In the Laser Radial fleet, Italian Gallinaro Guido, and Brits Ben Whaley (Swanage SC) and Jake Farren-Price battled for podium positions, all guaranteeing themselves a medal prior to the last race. Whaley's second place in the final race, ahead of Guido in eighth, was enough to take Championship honours, with Spinnaker's Farren-Price taking bronze. Chloe Barr (Stokes Bay), making a final race win the order of day, battled it out with the Laser Radial girls to finish fourth, just two points off a medal, whilst Daisy Collingridge (Waldringfield SC) finished in seventh.

Gold medal winner Whaley enjoyed the week despite the challenging conditions: "It's been an interesting week with some very fickle winds and then some very strong breeze at the end and storms in between, but it's been a good learning process and a great way to end the summer as part of the team!"

Emily Hall (WPNSA), one of the most experienced sailors at the event competing in her third EUROSAFs, upgraded last year's fourth to end the event with silver. Lily Young (WPNSA) finished in fourth. In the boys' fleet, Andy Brown (Loch Insh) battled it out with Italy's Di Tomassi Luca for silver, losing out on countback to take bronze. Brown was recently selected for the Youth Sailing World Championships, Auckland, New Zealand taking place in December and will continue his preparation with the RS:X Youth World Championships in November.

Grafham's 29er girls' Phoebe Connellan and Sophie Otter, sailing in their last Youth regatta together, and Hattie Rogers and Orla Mitchell (Lymington) took silver and bronze respectively tying on points. In the 29er boys', Nick Robbins-Jake Todd's (Hayling Island) final bullet proved not quite enough to medal, missing out by just one point. Huw Edwards and Josh Dawson (Pwllheli SC) wrapped up their regatta in seventh.

Tim Hall, RYA Pathway Manager and EUROSAF Team Leader was pleased with the team's performance: "It's great to have come away with eight medals. We are also very pleased with the learning and development of all sailors throughout the week. We put an emphasis on sailors being non-dependent and taking responsibility for their regatta preparation and delivery. Well done to all the sailors and thanks to the coaching and support team who all contributed towards us winning the Nations Trophy."

For full results please visit the EUROSAF website. You can follow the British Youth Sailing Team Facebook page and on Twitter at @RYAyouthracing.

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